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ambition

[am-bish-uh n] /æmˈbɪʃ ən/
noun
1.
an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment:
Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by his colleagues.
2.
the object, state, or result desired or sought after:
The crown was his ambition.
3.
desire for work or activity; energy:
I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
verb (used with object)
4.
to seek after earnestly; aspire to.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English ambicio(u)n (< Middle French) < Latin ambitiōn- (stem of ambitiō), equivalent to amb- ambi- + -i- go + -t- past participle suffix + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
ambitionless, adjective
ambitionlessly, adverb
preambition, noun
superambition, noun
Synonyms
1. aspiration, yearning, longing. 2. goal, aim. 3. drive, force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ambition
  • The desire to read ahead is supposed to signal ambition and achievement.
  • Grayson's youthful ambition was to sing opera, but she wasn't able to accomplish that dream until after her movie career ended.
  • We disagree, and I don't have the ambition to pursue the argument further.
  • It was a simple, modest ambition.
  • Her ambition is to be a social worker.
  • My ambition is truly limited to a few clods of earth, some sprouting wheat.
  • Too much ambition and not enough product.
  • Rash has boldly taken on the timeless story of boundless ambition and explored its depth and texture.
  • Once its narrative ambition catches up to its artwork, watch out.
  • One teacher hates him because he is left-handed, while another admires his ambition to become a writer and a truthful adult.
British Dictionary definitions for ambition

ambition

/æmˈbɪʃən/
noun
1.
strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
2.
something so desired; goal; aim
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin ambitiō a going round (of candidates), a striving to please, from ambīre to go round; see ambit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ambition
n.

mid-14c., from Middle French ambition or directly from Latin ambitionem (nominative ambitio) "a going around," especially to solicit votes, hence "a striving for favor, courting, flattery; a desire for honor, thirst for popularity," noun of action from past participle stem of ambire "to go around" (see ambient).

Rarely used in the literal sense in English, where it carries the secondary Latin sense of "eager or inordinate desire of honor or preferment." In early use always pejorative, of inordinate or overreaching desire; ambition was grouped with pride and vainglory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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